The signing of ex-NRL larrikin Blake Ferguson to join Peter McDonald Premiership club Wellington for the rest of 2023 is a giant boon for rugby league in the west.
'Fergo' is one of the game's biggest characters.
But more importantly he has direct links to the region. He's a Wellington boy, and played junior footy in Cowboys colours. As he puts it, he's now "home".
He left the club in 2007 to chase his NRL dream.
A venture that took him to the top of the game. He's played State of Origin with NSW and represented Australia.
He's had stints at Canberra, Cronulla, the Roosters and Eels. He played 250 NRL games. Scored over 120 tries. Won a title with the Roosters in 2018.
Ferguson is proof if you chase your dream, anything is possible.
Few gave the Cowboys a hope this season.
Most wrote them off throughout the pre-season when playing numbers looked low and, as always, the drums started beating. There was lots of talk the Cowboys wouldn't be able to field senior teams.
The departure of club legend Mick Peachey in the off-season, too, ensured those drums began to beat even louder.
But, gradually, things began to build and a steady committee eventually landed some key signings to boost the first grade squad.
Then, a win at home to open the season tempered those doubters again..
And, then, an upset victory over St Pat's in round two shocked the PMP. Justin Toomey-White's boys didn't just remove the monkey from their backs, they ripped it off and sent it packing down the highway with the Bathurst boys.
They performed well against competition big guns Dubbo CYMS the next round, but ultimately fell short to now sit 2-1 leading up to round four.
But it's the ideal position to be in for the Cowboys. Now, they welcome Ferguson into the fold.
Where there were questions over a playing roster lacking depth in February, there's a decent chance the Wellington club will have benches full of players come next week.
Where there were once questions over the club's ability to compete with the best in 2023, there's a decent chance Toomey-White's men will grow another leg when they run out next to a former Australian rep now in maroon.
Do they dare to chase that dream? Absolutely.
Because, Ferguson's inclusion at the Cowboys in 2023 is so much more than just a signature.
Anyone who saw the story break on the Daily Liberal website on Tuesday evening would have then seen the comments from Wellington locals, from far and wide, weighing in on the Ferguson signing.
"What a signing for Wello ... play him in the backrow," wrote former Cowboys gun Aiden Ryan.
While renowned Group 11 commentator Billy-Joe Francis, on his Bush Footy Yarns Facebook page, said Ferguson's signing in the Western Division should trigger a renewed push from NRL HQ.
"V'landys and the boys should look to try and assist bush clubs and bring retired or no-longer-required NRL stars stars back home," he said.
And he's right. Paul Sironen said the same thing to ACM a fortnight back.
After reflecting on his time at the Blayney Bears at the back end of 1999, Sironen said it's time the NRL did more to give back to country rugby league areas.
He said, once upon a time, those who'd finished up in the NRL would actively look for a gig in regional NSW as a means of raising the profile of the sport in the bush.
Ferguson's landing at Wellington will do just that.
He'll give the Cowboys a boost, first and foremost. And the stronger our competition's small towns are, the better community sport is at all levels.
But he's also provided the Peter McDonald Premiership competition with a timely shot in the arm too.
There won't be too many rugby league punters who wouldn't be keen to see Ferguson in action - be it on the wing, at fullback, prop or, as Ryan would like, in the backrow - on the field this season.
You can hear the jokes about the cruisers now. And you get the feeling Fergo will love it.
So while we're probably never going to land in a place where the NRL actively promotes country footy to the point retired NRL players are given incentives to join clubs in the bush, let's embrace the moments we do land.
Ferguson's arrival is one of those. Let's get around the former Eels larrikin with a crooked nose and a penchant for a pineapple cruiser.
Welcome to the wild west, Blake. Here come the Cowboys.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: